Published: October 19, 2021

Fall 2021 World Online Piping & Drumming Championships intros duets, scholarship

Despite a gradual return to some sense of normal in many parts of the piping and drumming world, the World Online Piping & Drumming Championships is returning with a third 2021 event this November.

The online competition is also introducing a Piping Duet event, “by popular demand.” The competition will encourage a group of two pipers to enter and perform a tune of a medley of their own choice.

Also new is the Colin MacKenzie Memorial Piobaireachd Challenge, a scholarship for pipers 18 and younger. The US$250 award will be given “to a piper of any non-pro/open grade level showing great promise and potential in their piobaireachd performance in order to further their piping education.” It’s named for organizer Jori Chisholm’s first piping instructor.

Chisholm staged the first online solo competition in 2011 under his teaching and merchandise business BagpipeLessons.com. The pandemic prompted him to restart the effort in the spring 2020, and the series of events has attracted thousands of entries from around the world.

The World Online competitions have been something of a benchmark for others, including making judges’ scoresheets and competitors’ recorded video performances available for all to review. There are more than 80 separate competitions, with a judging panels of dozens of luminaries from all over.

Competitors don’t have to be a member of any recognized piping and drumming association, though Chisholm said, “We ask that players respect their official grading if they have one and they are also welcome to play up. We provide guidance for players who need help choosing the correct grade.”

Similarly, he said that judges don’t have to be accredited with any organization, but most are and all are recognized as accomplished competitors at the highest levels.

The results of the most recent pipes|drums Poll indicate that collectively more than half of respondents worldwide believe that there will not be a pipe band competition season in 2022. A third year without in-person events could be catastrophic to regions without associations and others not filling in with online solo and small ensemble contests.

Most piping and drumming associations have mobilized with online competitions, workshops, and educational discussions during the pandemic. Many expect that online events, with their cost-efficiency and ability to enable contestants from all over the world to compete without travel, will continue to be offered even after there is a return to in-person normal.

The deadline to enter the Fall 2021 World Online Piping & Drumming Championships is November 17, 2021.

Disclosure: BagpipeLessons.com is an advertiser with pipes|drums.

 


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